MIT Creates Amazing 3D UI From Levitating Orbs
Wow, I didn’t think something like this was possible yet with maglev. Impressive.
Jinha Lee, from the Tangible Media Group of the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with Rehmi Post and Hiroshi Ishii, has been playing with the idea of manipulating real floating objects in 3-D space to create a truly tactile user interface. His prototype is called the ZeroN, and it will drop your jaw when you see it working for the first (and second and third) time.
It’s essentially a small field in which gravity doesn’t overcome an object. Through the efforts of finely tuned electromagnetism, a user can place a metal ball in midair as easily as they’d place something on a shelf. The ball can be repositioned by hand or by computer, it can be animated on a path, and with the help of software, it can even serve as a virtual camera or light source in a 3-D scene (a sort of 3-D animation suite that you can touch).